Could British Brands like Baracuta see huge growth by taking advantage of the millennial quest for authencity & sustainability?

The TigerLeap Retail Insights Series, focuses on stand out concepts, ideas or imagery spotted in independent or chain stores. The format is a #Shelfie, a snapshot of a category area or shelf within a store. An image that draws positive attention and can be used as inspiration. How you chose to use it is up to you…

Bathroom Tiles

I won’t lie to you; I initially walked into this store because I liked the wall tiles. I thought, what a magical mishmash of 70’s bathroom tiles & tartan carpet. It should not work, but it does and fantastically so. Looking at Baracutas instagram feed, you can see the design was not an accident. The pale blue titles make the perfect backdrop for their powerful colour palette. They have created the perfect photo friendly visual merchandising display, described recently as a “must have” for retailers by trend forecasting leaders WGSN.

Once you get in the store and start chatting to clued up sales assistants, they will tell you about the who’s who of filmstars, sports people, and musicians that have endorsed the brand, since their start in 1937. I would forgive you if you didn’t believe me, when I quote Frank Sinatra, Steve Macqueen, James Dean, and in more recent times Paul Weller, & Damon Alban, plus a few bond starts including Daniel Craig. Their insta feed is blessed with a gigantic list of mainly British Brand ambassadors. It’s impressive.

They really have a fascinating history, and are the brand that created the original G9 Harrington design, a lightweight short raincoat, imitated by so many other brands such as Ralph Lauren and Fred Perry to name a few.

I spoke to Mark Powell, one of London’s most influential tailors and he said that both his son’s have them. His take on them was “why would you buy an imitation”, when you can have the original, there’s no comparison”

However all these celeb endorsements do sound a bit old school and many are outside the age range of the millennial. So how does such a Brand as Baracuta engage with them and what do this demographic want?

As a quick generalized overview; Millenials are looking for the “real”, they have grown up with marketing and sales speak and they see right though a brand that plies it’s trade that way. They like authentic, genuine experiences and want to be engaged with on social media. They are moving away from fast fashion and are interested in the ethical and the sustainable, and apparently they want to be involved in the creative process.

So can Baracuta sidle up to this group, especially when the prices are at the upper end of High Street at £237 for their Harrington Jacket?

As an outsider (not working in menswear), the so called “millennial wishlist” appears to intersect beautifully with the attributes of the brand, and probably many other similar “British” less well known brands too. If they move correctly and get under the skin of the demographic I would say it looks very positive for them nationally.

Internationally I know they are in the USA (in Jcrew) but perhaps also reaching out to countries that value “quality” British design and production too Asia, especially China sounds obvious, but parts of Africa could be a great fit too? Not everyone wants Burberry…

What do you think? Do you work in menswear? Do you think smaller “British” brands like this will lift off in the next few years?

Insight Store — Barcuta

Location — Newburg Quarter, Carnaby Street, London

Store Type — Menswear

Category — Clothing, Apparel

Retail Stockists — Oi Polloi, Flannels, Far Fetch, JCrew (USA), NordStrom (USA)

Note: Baracuta is now owned by WP, sitting alongside sits alongside Barbour & Woolrich

About the Author

Zoe Langman, is the Director of TigerLeap, a boutique consultancy, that advises brands through a coached consultancy program on how to get their products in front of buyers and into retail. She has also just started intensive 1 day workshops in London http://tigerleap.co.uk/workshops

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